Tajikistan: Food deficit appeal No. 26/01 operations update No. 2


Launched on 21 August 2001 for CHF 6,795,218 for 9 months.
DREF Allocated: CHF 150, 000
Beneficiaries: 130,000
Period covered: 11 October - 20 December 2001; last Ops Update issued: No. 01 issued 24 October, 2001; Next Ops Update No. 3 expected February 2002
"At a Glance"

Appeal coverage: 23.4%
Related Appeals: 01.63/2001- Tajikistan 2001 Annual Appeal
Outstanding needs: CHF 5,207,822

The Disaster/Situation: The Federation and the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan (RCST) are continuing a fruitful cooperation with the main agencies involved in the food assistance in Tajikistan, mainly with WFP, Action Against Hunger, Care International, ECHO, and others. In addition, relations with local authorities are being formalized through implementation agreements defining each party's responsibility in this operation. Also, the beneficiaries are involved in the management of specific project components, through community mobilization, creation of local committees, monitoring and dissemination of the benefits of their involvement in the set activities. Pending the finalization of the cooperation agreement with WFP, no further food needs are anticipated for this emergency operation. Instead, donors are encouraged to assist the RCST and the Federation with cash donations allow the procurement of shoes for schoolchildren as well as with the purchase of water filters, ORS and hygiene supplies for health facilities. Cash contributions are also needed to extend the water and sanitation project to other operational locations in need for this type of assistance.

Operational Developments:

During the past three months, news from the Central Asian region have been largely reduced to the current political and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Among other important issues, the ongoing humanitarian operation in Tajikistan, aimed at assisting almost one million people affected by the drought and lasting structural problems in the country, has been neglected both in terms of visibility and financial assistance needed to fulfill the set goals. At the same time, many agencies' priorities had to change and their relief supplies to be redirected to Afghanistan. However, humanitarian organizations in Tajikistan have used the presence of numerous international journalists in the region to draw attention of the general public and donors to outstanding needs of the most vulnerable Tajik population, further increased in view of the harsh winter conditions.

Tajikistan's needs for heating fuel in the coming winter months are estimated to be largely uncovered, due to the country's outstanding debt to external suppliers, as well as limited capacities to produce enough electrical energy locally, as the long-lasting drought reduced the level of water in the main rivers. This situation may cause further deterioration of the population's health, as well as a decrease in school attendance throughout the country.

In October-November 2001, a national nutritional survey was conducted by a number of international organizations in Tajikistan, under the lead of Care International and Action Against Hunger. The International Federation and the RCST took part in the survey by collecting the data in the districts around the capital Dushanbe. Final results of the survey will be available by the end of the year, however preliminary findings indicate a considerable deterioration of the nutritional situation, low access to an adequate quantity of good quality land, low levels of household food production - half the amount of wheat was harvested per household member than was seen in 1999. Furthermore, livestock ownership has reduced slightly from last year, as many households have sold animals in late summer and autumn moths so as to prepare for the winter. Households are increasingly dependent on cash purchase of food as a result of the poor harvest. This comes against a background of reduced income earning opportunities and high unemployment nationwide.

According to the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI), the ongoing drought in Central Asia is the most severe in the past several decades, and is mainly caused by large-scale variations in global climatic conditions. There are indications that a return towards normal precipitation in the region could be expected in the coming year, which has already been demonstrated in a noticeably higher level of rainfall in the past two to three months in Tajikistan. However, effects of the drought, such as soil depletion and increased susceptibility to flooding, will continue to be felt for some time, even if precipitation returns to normal levels, due to the magnitude and persistence of the current drought.

Red Cross Red Crescent action

Following the establishment of the necessary logistical and administrative structure in the operational areas, recruitment of staff and volunteers, as well as continued and intense fundraising efforts, the Federation and the RCST started the implementation phase of the operation with food and clothes distributions, small-scale irrigation, as well as health promotion activities. A number of operational details have been modified as compared to the original plan of action, in order to adapt to the realities in the field, as well as to render the implementation of the operation more efficient. Those modifications refer mainly to the relief distributions and are elaborated below.

Relief distributions

Objective 1 To provide 130,000 people with essential food items for six months.

The Federation and the RCST have continued good cooperation with WFP, resulting in the signing of the agreement whereby WFP provides the totality of the food needed for the first distribution round in the southern region of Kulyab. Negotiations are underway to extend the existing agreement to include the remaining two distributions in the south, as well as most of the food needs in the northern region of Sughd. In addition, German Government donated some 240,000 US$ for the food deficit appeal, of which some 102,000 US$ are used to procure 120 tonnes of vegetable oil. Also, the remaining part of the DFID donation for the Federation's 2000 drought emergency operation will be used to procure 600 tonnes of wheat flour in the value of 130,000 US$. With these contributions, and pending the finalization of the agreement with WFP for the two operational areas, the Federation and the RCST will fully cover the food needs under the current food deficit emergency operation.

In the Kulyab region, the first round of food distribution is currently underway in the three operational districts - Sovietsky, Dangara and Farkhor - and will finish by the first week of January 2002. Some 56,000 beneficiaries are receiving rations comprised of 30 kg of wheat flour, three litres of vegetable oil, 1.8 kg of peas and 0.5 kg of iodized salt. These rations should cover the food needs for approximately three months. Thanks to the availability of additional quantity of peas in WFP warehouses, this commodity has been added to the first ration basket in the south. The second distribution cycle will be carried out in February-March and the rations will consist of 50 kg of wheat flour, one litre of oil, one kg of sugar and 0.5 kg of iodized salt. In the third and final food distribution round, scheduled for April-May, people will receive 25 kg of wheat flour, one litre of oil and one kg of sugar.

In the northern region of Sughd, the original list of four operational districts - Shakhristan, New Matchoh, Zafarabad and Ghonchi - has been extended to include an additional district - Old Matchoh. This was done in view of the extreme vulnerability of the mentioned district and a total lack of humanitarian assistance provided there. At this stage, local authorities submitted the proposed beneficiary lists for some 74,000 people, and the RCST and the Federation monitors are currently verifying their compliance to the selection criteria. According to the draft agreement with WFP, the Federation and the RCST will receive 5,113 tonnes of wheat flour, 83 tonnes of oil and 41 tonnes of iodized salt. The additional wheat flour procured from the DFID contribution, as well as the oil donated by the German Government and Red Cross will be used to complete the food needs in the north. The food will be distributed in two distribution rounds only, in view of the delays in the delivery and harsh winter conditions in that part of the country. Therefore, in the first distribution round, scheduled to start in January, beneficiaries will receive double rations, consisting of 50 kg of wheat flour, two litres of oil and 0.5 kg of iodized salt. Only in the Old Matchoh district, which is located in a remote mountainous area with even harsher climatic conditions than the rest of the region, rations will be slightly higher and will consist of 60 kg of wheat flour, two litres of oil and one kg of salt. The second distribution round will be carried out in April-May, and beneficiaries will receive 25 kg of wheat flour and one litre of oil, except for Old Matchoh where the quantity of wheat flour will be 30 kg. The salt will not be distributed in the second round, due to difficulties WFP met in obtaining standard quality iodized salt. The food procured from DFID and German Government donations are allocated to the Old Matchoh district.

Food-for-work projects in the operational communities are being developed by the local authorities, in cooperation with the RCST and the Federation. These will, however, not start before the second food distribution cycle, as more time is needed to elaborate and organize community projects. Some 13,000 people, making up 10 percent of the total food beneficiaries, will be expected to participate in the community work.

Objective 2 To assist 65,000 schoolchildren between seven and 15 years of age with winter clothes and shoes. A total of 72 tonnes of second hand clothes donated by the Swedish Red Cross, together with 14 tonnes already existing in the RCST disaster preparedness stocks, are currently being distributed to mental institutions, boarding schools, prisons and other social institutions. Additional donations of clothes are expected from the Danish, Hellenic and Icelandic Red Cross societies. While the first shipments are being distributed to institutions, the Federation and the RCST are developing ways to target schoolchildren more specifically, which will require additional efforts, as the shipments arrive in bales consisting of mainly adult clothes, and which require re-packing prior to distribution.

The Norwegian Red Cross announced a donation of approximately 10,000 US$ for the purchase of shoes for schoolchildren, which will be sufficient for the procurement of only about 1,600 pairs of shoes. Additional funds are being sought to fulfill the needs for this item.

Health

Objective To improve community health through education, better hygiene and safe drinking water in health facilities.

Public health education in communities is being carried out within a framework of the Federation's and the RCST nationwide annual health programme. The RCST volunteers trained in the 2000 drought emergency operation are joining the seminars on prevention of water-borne diseases, respiratory tract infections and breast-feeding. They are disseminating the gained knowledge in their respective communities. During the first three months of the operation, the RCST and the Federation have completed a series of health promotion workshops for community health workers and Red Crescent volunteers on prevention of water-borne diseases, hygiene and safe utilization of drinking water. Out of a total of 37 workshops held to this date, 18 seminars were held in the emergency operational areas of Kulyab and Sughd. In addition, 43 workshops were held on prevention of respiratory infections of which 19 seminars took place in the operational areas. Results of pre- and post-training tests showed significant increase of understanding of participants in prevention of diarrheal diseases (from 30,5% to 61,1%). Teaching material for the seminars, as well as information leaflets aimed at dissemination in communities, have been developed in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Planned procurement of water-filters, 6-month supplies of oral rehydration salts and soap for 1,000 primary health care units (FAPs) has not yet taken place, due to the lack of confirmed funding to this date. However, part of the German Government/Red Cross donation of approximately 240,000 US$ will be used to procure some 500 medical kits for those institutions, aimed at increasing their low capacity to service the basic health needs of the population in affected areas. The kits are being procured in addition to the same commodity purchased and distributed in the south of the country, within the framework of the ECHO-funded annual health programme of the RCST and the Federation.

Water-sanitation

Objective 1 To improve people's access to safe drinking water and small-scale irrigation through food-work-activities.

In October, ECHO granted the International Federation with an emergency allocation of 200,000 EUR in response to the food deficit appeal. The project is focusing on the emergency rehabilitation of small-scale water-supply systems. This will enable the population in selected villages, who are in possession of kitchen-gardens, to have continuous supplies of irrigation water to their plots and thus to be able to grow fruit and vegetables so as to increase their self-reliance. The project is based on the food-for-work concept, whereby WFP is providing a total of 5.28 tonnes of wheat flour, 0.3 tonnes of oil and 66 kg of iodized salt for 150 people involved in the construction work. Estimated number of people benefiting from the projects mounts to approximately 1,300.

Following a technical assessment of the community needs and related technical capacity of the organization, six locations were selected in the north of the country. Detailed projects were developed and the community informed of their modalities. Thanks to dissemination efforts of the RCST Sughd branch, a high level of community involvement and sense of ownership of the project has been insured. At all locations, preparatory work for the installation of pipes and other equipment has been mostly completed, and it included cleaning of existing channels, digging of new ones, etc. Local management committees were set up, and they will be responsible for the monitoring of the construction work, as well as encouragement of the community members to practice safe irrigation methods and soil conservation. The procurement of pipes and other necessary material is underway, and is expected to be completed in January.

Needs for the rehabilitation of small-scale irrigation systems exceed by far the projects currently implemented within the framework of the ECHO-funded project. Additional funding is therefore sought so as to enable the RCST and the Federation to expand those activities to all operational areas.

National Society Capacity Building

Building on the expertise and capacity developed during the drought emergency operation in 2000-2001, further efforts are being made to consolidate the management capacity of the RCST branches. To achieve that, number of staff employed by the RCST for this operation has been reduced to five persons in each region, as compared to 23 in the last year's drought response. They include one coordinator, three field officers and one warehouse manager each. With this reduction, the National Society will be enabled to consider possible maintaining of the established structure after the operation ends and thus keep the trained personnel for future operations.

A strong RCST volunteer base, built up during the last year's operation, is maintained and expanded through their involvement in food and clothes distribution, as well as monitoring of project implementation. Monitors are being trained in the identification of needs, as well as proposal writing and budgeting.

Further concentration of programme management on the branch level contributes to an increased autonomy of branches, lower operational costs, and a high level of skill and expertise in the operational areas. Finally, a decreased number of Federation staff employed for the implementation of the operation clearly indicates an empowered and more independent National Society's role in this operation.

Coordination

The Federation and the RCST are continuing a fruitful cooperation with the main agencies involved in the food assistance in Tajikistan, mainly with WFP, Action Against Hunger, Care International, ECHO, and others. In addition, relations with local authorities are being formalized through implementation agreements defining each party's responsibility in this operation. Also, the beneficiaries are involved in the management of specific project components, through community mobilization, creation of local committees, monitoring and dissemination of the benefits of their involvement in the set activities.

Outstanding needs

Pending the finalization of the cooperation agreement with WFP, no further food needs are anticipated for this emergency operation. Instead, donors are encouraged to assist the RCST and the Federation with cash donations so as to enable us to proceed with the procurement of shoes for schoolchildren prior to the most harsh winter months, as well as with the purchase of water filters, ORS and hygiene supplies for health facilities. Finally, cash contributions are needed to extend the water and sanitation project to other operational locations in need for this type of assistance.

For further details please contact: Susanna Soderstrom, Phone: 41 22 730 4424; Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; email: soderstr@ifrc.org

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

This operation seeks to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or longer-term capacity building will require additional support, and these programmes are outlined on the Federation's website.

For further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org.

Peter Rees-Gildea
Head a.i.
Relationship Management Department

Lynette Lowndes
Head
Europe Department

Annex 1

Tajikistan Food Deficit
APPEAL No. 26/2001



PLEDGES RECEIVED

07.01.2002
DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT

CASH

REQUESTED IN APPEAL CHF
6'795'218

TOTAL COVERAGE 23.4%

CASH CARRIED FORWARD

BRITISH - GOVT/DFID

27'990
GBP
66'490
04.10.2001
PROGRAMME MGT & CONTROL
CANADIAN - GOVT/CIDA

594'000
CAD
623'403
19.11.2001

CHINA, HONG KONG - RC



7'496
10.09.2001

FINNISH - RC

50'456
EUR
76'643
01.10.2001

HELLENIC - RC

5'000'000
GRD
22'290
07.09.2001

HELLENIC - RC

5'000'000
GRD
21'705
24.10.2001

IRANIAN - RC

962
USD
1'610
04.09.2001
PSB FOR IN-KIND
JAPANESE - RC

10'000' 000
JPY
139'010
05.10.2001

MONACO - RC

80' 000
FRF
18'344
21.08.2001

NORWEGIAN - RC

100' 000
NOK
18'400
02.11.2001

NORWEGIAN - GOVT/RC

1'291' 263
NOK
241'190
15.11.2001

PRIVATE DONORS



1'428
29.11.2001

SWEDISH - GOVT/RC

1'300'000
SEK
213'590
30.08.2001
SEK 300'000 REGIONAL WATSAN

SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED IN CASH
1'451'599
CHF
21.4%

KIND AND SERVICES (INCLUDING PERSONNEL)

DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT

FINNISH - RC



65'800
01.10.2001
LOGISTICS DELEGATE
IRANIAN - RC

19'250
USD
32'215
04.09.2001
10'000 KGS RICE, 3'000 KGS EDIBLE 3'000 KGS DATES, 5'000 KGS SUGAR, 4'000 KGS CANNED FOOD, 5'000 KGS PULSES
Norway
Delegate(s)


37'782



SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED IN KIND/SERVICES
135'797
CHF
2.0%

ADDITIONAL TO APPEAL BUDGET

DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT

SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED
0
CHF